Travel Rankings & Advice

World's Best Places to Visit

To help you choose where to go on your next vacation, U.S. News compiled a list of worldwide destinations using opinions and recommendations from trusted travel experts and thousands of travelers. The top vacation spots included on this ranking list range from big cities, such as Paris and New York, to beach getaways like Maui and Puerto Rico. We hope these recommendations can help point you toward your next vacation destination. Please vote for your favorite places below to help us determine next year's best places to visit.

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Why go: Year after year, the magnetic City of Lights draws travelers looking to cross the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame off their bucket list. But what visitors really fall in love with are Paris' quaint cafes, vibrant markets, trendy shopping districts and unmistakenable je ne sais quoi charm. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Paris

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Why go: London is a world unto itself. The eclectic neighborhoods — which house a blend of historical landmarks and modern-day attractions — can keep you occupied for days. Visit the Tower of London and the British Museum or explore Portobello Road and Borough Market. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in London

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Why go: Though known for its fútbol team, Barcelona boasts much more than athletic talent. The city is a feast for the eyes: Visitors walk past medieval architecture in the Barri Gòtic and Gaudi's innovative creations at Parc Güell. Meanwhile, Las Ramblas buzzes at all hours. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Barcelona

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Why go: Maui — one of the most beloved of all the Hawaiian Islands — lives up to its superlatives with exotic beaches (like Kaihalulu), palatial resorts (like the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea) and lush terrain (as seen in the Iao Valley State Park). Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Maui

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Why go: New York City hosts infinite urban adventures: Wander through Central Park, tour the exhibits at the Met, catch a Broadway show or peruse SoHo's stylish boutiques. And at night, admire Manhattan's glittering skyscrapers from the top of the Empire State Building. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in New York City

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Why go: Gourmet restaurants, funky boutiques and laid-back vibes are just some of San Fran's charms. A ride on the cable cars and a visit to Alcatraz are musts. And, of course, don't forget to visit the city's crowning architectural achievement — the Golden Gate Bridge. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in San Francisco

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Why go: Meander along cobbled streets and admire historic sites like El Morro in Old San Juan. Prefer miles of sand? Consider the bioluminescent bays of Culebra and Vieques. For a vibrant night scene, visit the Isla Verde or Santurce neighborhoods of San Juan. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Puerto Rico

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Why go: This metropolis offers more than just a dizzying array of landmarks (e.g., the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge). Sydney boasts a warm, sunny climate ideal for enjoying the city's beaches. The sands at Coogee and Bondi draw locals and tourists alike. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Sydney

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Why go: Rio jockeys with Buenos Aires and São Paulo as South America's hottest destination — and not just for its warm weather. The famous Christ the Redeemer statue presides over Copacabana Beach. And you'll be hard-pressed to find a more lively event than Rio's Carnival. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Rio de Janeiro

Bora Bora
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Why go: It's hard not to be enchanted by this paradisiacal destination: Lush jungles extend into sky high volcanoes and sands stretch into upscale resorts. Carve out some time for hiking Mount Otemanu, observing aquatic life at the Bora Bora Lagoonarium and relaxing on the beach. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Bora Bora

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Why go: A visit to the USVI will feel like an international vacation (Carnival and reggae music) with a taste of home (U.S. dollars and no language barrier). But you won't find beaches like this on the mainland. For the best rates and weather, visit in late spring. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in U.S. Virgin Islands

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Why go: Vancouver may not be as grand as Toronto or as historic as Montreal, but it's no mystery why this Canadian city caught the attention of the International Olympic Committee. The city bursts with parks, galleries and outdoor activities. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Vancouver

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Why go: This Scottish city impresses visitors with its historic sites and scenery. Visit Edinburgh Castle or Holyroodhouse Palace for a glimpse of the royal lifestyle, and don't miss the sweeping views from Arthur's Seat. At the end of the day, head to the pub for a pint. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Edinburgh

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Why go: From swimming in Lake Zurich in the summer to skiing the Alps in the winter, Zurich attracts visitors year-round. Delectable pastry shops abound, as do museums, churches and shops in Bahnofstrasse. At night, check out the bars in edgy Zurich West. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Zurich

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Why go: Travelers adore Montreal's quaint cafes, bustling marketplaces and Old World architecture. Devote some time to visiting St. Joseph's Oratory and exploring Vieux-Montréal. Or, stretch your legs along the paths in Mont-Royal Park. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Montreal

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Why go: The simple mention of the Maldives conjures images of blue waters and soft sands. This  collection of more than a thousand islands boasts palatial resorts and pristine beaches. Visitors say the islands' allures are difficult to comprehend unless you see them for yourself. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Maldives

Cape Town
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Why go: It may have taken the World Cup to garner attention, but now that Cape Town has the spotlight, there's no letting go. Kick-start your day by climbing Table Mountain. Afterward, sunbathe along Clifton Beach's khaki-colored sands or tour the vineyards of the Constantia Valley. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Cape Town

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Why go: Prague has transitioned from a backpacker secret to a flourishing Eastern European capital. The narrow streets lead to iconic landmarks such as the Charles Bridge and St. Vitus Cathedral. Save some time for enjoying local pilsners on a bar crawl. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Prague

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Why go: Crete's diverse landscape is speckled with ancient ruins, fragrant olive groves and gorgeous beaches. Visitors can spend their days doing anything from shopping in Agios Nikolaos to hiking the Samaria Gorge before noshing on fresh fish at one of the island's lively tavernas. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Crete

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Why go: One of the most visited cities in the U.S., our nation's capital houses a trove of iconic monuments. The White House, the Lincoln Memorial and the Smithsonian Museums, exploring the National Mall can fill several days. And the best part is: Everything's free to visit. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Washington D.C.

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Why go: Budapest is a sure standout for any trip to central Europe. The city caters to a wide range of traveler types and budgets with its variety of hotels and restaurants. And Budapest will keep you occupied with its thermal baths and world-class museums. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Budapest

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Why go: The Bahamas is made up of so many islands that it's hard to mash them all into one recommendation. But that's also part of their appeal. Airfare and hotel rates are reasonable throughout the year, but you'll get the best deals if you visit in the summer or early fall. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Bahamas

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Why go: More than 3,000 square miles of nature's finest canyons, geysers and rocky cliffs are an easy sell for outdoors enthusiasts. Geothermic wonders like the Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful and Yellowstone Lake are not to be missed at this national park. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Yellowstone

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Why go: Many travelers seek out Jerusalem for its ancient ties to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Pack your visit to the city with stops at religious and historic sites, such as the Western Wall, Temple Mount and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Jerusalem

Hong Kong
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Why go: Hong Kong is worth visiting for its one-of-a-kind cultural fusion. Only here will you find a Disney theme park rubbing elbows with ancient temples. Peruse a street market, ride the Star Ferry from Tsim Sha Tsui pier or check out the views from atop Victoria Peak. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Hong Kong

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